But if I kick him out, what if I never see him again?
At Intervention INK, we believe in Tough Love — with a choice. The purpose of a professional intervention is to raise the addict out of his/her addiction. Sometimes life becomes so helpless and the addict becomes powerless because the addiction has taken over. This is when they are asking for help. Even if they aren’t asking out loud, their actions prove they truly want help. No one wants to live a life chained to an addiction. However, many times they don’t know the way to change the hold that is on them.
When we first meet with a family, we discuss the problems and then talk to the family about the seriousness of there being consequences for their loved one just in case he/she decides not to accept the help offered by the family. Most addicts, when faced with serious consequences from the family, decide to move forward with treatment. Of course, they will not be happy about it, but they will go. For those rare case’s when an addict decides to challenge the family’s consequences and not accept help, it is at this point that the family must stand strong and stand by the consequences they have set forth. The ultimate result is that the addict will now need to actually hit rock bottom. When someone reaches their lowest point, the next step is upward. Sometimes, in rare occasions, this is the only way to bring an addict out of the darkness they have been living. They have to realize that there is light in their future and sober living is the answer.
Tough love can be a scary concept for any family, but once you grasp the true nature of it, it will be one of the most effective approaches you have in getting your loved one to embrace recovery. Basically, tough love is where we draw a line in the sand with a using alcoholic or addict. It is an acknowledgment that if he/she wishes to continue on the path of destruction, you will no longer participate nor will you empower the addiction to negatively affect you any longer. It is potentially the final statement in any addiction intervention. It is important to remember that tough love should never be delivered out of anger or spite. The addict must know you are not there to hurt them, but to help them. When delivered effectively, tough love is a message of love. As those with children know, it is important to set healthy boundaries for growth. For many reasons, the addict has learned to live outside of natural boundaries which has driven the addiction to uncontrollable measures. Once you have set the new standards of what you will and will not deal with concerning the addict, and the addict in your life decides he/she wants to continue using drugs or alcohol, your intervention specialist will guide you and your family through the process of determining what aspects of your lives need to be changed so that you can become free from the addiction of your loved one.
Always remember, an intervention is never about forcing a family to disconnect or detach from a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. It’s purpose is to get your loved one into treatment immediately. It is also to help the family learn how to handle the issues while also learning how to not enable the addict in the future. The family should only do what they are comfortable doing. Our job is to guide and to empower the family so that they will have a clear understanding of why this has happened and how to correct the problems.